US Space Command Legal Conference

March 29, 2024


From 5 – 7 March 2024, the Office of the Staff Judge Advocate of United States Space Command
(USSPACECOM) hosted its fourth annual legal conference at the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado
Springs, CO. During the first two days, over three hundred (300) in-person and online attendees heard from
distinguished military and civilian leaders and experts on topics under the conference theme of “Space
Futures: The Legal Implications of Space Operations in [Geostationary Orbit] and Beyond.” The third and final
day of the conference was reserved for classified briefings on topics under the same theme.

Among the panelists and attendees were nearly thirty (30) University of Nebraska College of Law students,alumni, and faculty, reflecting UNL’s international leadership in space law and military space operationsthrough its renowned Space, Cyber, and National Security Law Program. The Program funded travel andlodging for six (6) current Nebraska Law students, including three (3) current Air Force and Army judgeadvocate attorneys currently pursuing advanced legal education at UNL and Detachment 465’s own C/CaptGrant Jones. C/Capt Jones will commission in May and become a judge advocate attorney upon completion of the Bar Exam and legal licensing requirements. 

Over the conference’s two unclassified days, panelists from government agencies, academia, business, and non-governmental organizations discussed the importance of advancing development of non-binding international norms in space to complement the existing, binding international legal structure currently in place through agreements such as the Outer Space Treaty. Notably, the Woomera Manual on the International Law of Military Activities and Operations—an international project led by the University of Nebraska and the University of Adelaide (Australia) dedicated to synthesizing the current state of binding international law in this area—served as a focal point for a panel conversation on the future of normative law in space. Additional keynote speakers included the Honorable Caroline D. Krass, general counsel of the Department of Defense ,and General Stephen Whiting, USSPACECOM commander. 

Interested individuals can view the unclassified keynotes and panels on the “LTWRC USAFA” YouTube channel.



General Stephen Whiting, USSPACECOM commander, delivers the closing keynote address at USSPACECOM Legal Conference (photo credit: U.S. Space Command)